The Grandmother Project Continues

Posted by Brette in Collecting | Life

ring3As I’ve written before, my grandmother passed away this year (6 months ago now) – and clearly since I keep writing about it, it had a huge impact on me. Since she left us, I’ve been working through what to do with the many things I inherited from her. For a lot of them, I’ve looked to Martha for inspiration – finding ways to display things and repurpose them. Today I added another item to my list of items I’ve reclaimed. The ring in the photo (without the stone) was the engagement ring my grandfather gave to her, back in the 1930s. When they had their 25th anniversary, she had the diamond reset – my mom inherited that. I got the empty ring, which I fell in love with.  When my mom found it in the jewelry box, it was very dull looking. My mom was wonderful enough to have an aquamarine set into the ring for me so that I can wear it. The ring itself cleaned up amazingly well and now is shiny and beautiful. I love the antique setting.  I feel so close to her, wearing it today.

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17 Responses

  • I love heirloom jewelry. I have one earring of my great grandmother’s. My sister inherited them, but had them strung as necklaces and gave me one. The other thing I love is a ruby ring of my mothers. When my mother passed, I also sent a turquois ring of my mom’s to my daughter. She loves the stone and I thought she would like it. “I remember grandma wearing this ring!” she exclaimed. She was just glad to have something my mom actually wore.

  • I feel the same way about this ring. To think it is the ring my grandfather gave my grandmother when he asked her to marry him, means so much, even if it is not the stone that was in it. I also have a synthetic blue star sapphire ring that she always used to wear and to have it on my hand when I remember her wearing it means so much.

    While it is true that “stuff” doesn’t matter as much as people, having these things of hers is incredibly important to me.

  • Hilda says:

    So beautiful! I love heirloom jewelry, and unfortunately much of mine was stolen when my house was broken into.
    I love the fact that your ring has a story,and that the piece itself changed over time as the stone went to your mom and the setting came to you.
    You don’t mention what the setting is made from — is it white gold, sterling silver, or platinum?

  • The setting is white gold. I’m sorry about your jewelry! I don’t have much of any value myself (the stone my mom bought for this was actually really inexpensive, but it’s pretty), but even to lose the costume jewelry I have that I love would make me sad.

  • When my husband’s grandma died I got her diamond ring. It was originally purchased in the 1930s, and — even though the diamond isn’t that big — I get so many compliments on it. It makes me feel so close to Grandma. And some day I will be passing the ring on to my daughter, who we named after that wonderful woman.

    I’m so glad you are enjoying what sounds like a beautiful ring. I hope you never stop remembering your grandma when you put it on your hand.

  • I also had jewelry stolen!! Not my locket though, because I never take it off. The locket belonged to an ancestor I did not know, and wearing it, puts me in touch somehow with the family’s past. I now wear my mom’s sapphire ring, which is also a family heirloom. She took it off a month before passing and asked me to wear it. It belonged to my paternal grandmother, who passed away when I was 4. Isn’t it strange how jewelry can put us in touch with something profound, a connection across generations?

  • Thanks for sharing Karen. I too plan to pass things on to my daughter. We even had one piece of jewelry made into a tie bar for my son he could have something (she had a piece of carved ivory that must have been a pin at one point, but the backing came off – had the jeweler attach it to a tie bar and it looks great).

    I have nothing of my Gramma’s on my dad’s side, and wish I did.

  • I’m so sorry about your jewelry! My grandmother’s house was broken into and some things of hers were stolen then. Yes, it is funny how jewelry somehow seems very personal. Maybe because you wear it next to your skin and it often has sentimental meaning.

    Here’s a funny story though – my mom (who is still married just to be clear!) had her engagement ring made into an earring when I was a kid! She decided she was tired of always wearing the same ring and wanted to have two hands to accessorize. So she had it made into a diamond stud and then bought a matching one for the other ear! She didn’t feel sentimental about it all and still doesn’t.

  • How lucky you are to have jewelery from your Grandmother. Although mine did not wear jewelry, she did receive a bracelet from her uncle and she gave it to me when I was younger. I don’t wear it often anymore, but I cherish having this one piece from her.

  • Tara says:

    It is gorgeous. It is nice to have something on your finger to keep her close to you in a special way. That is something so personal, something that was on her–to wear it surely connects you to her in spirit. Priceless.

  • There is something so special about having a keepsake like this. I have a charm bracelet from my grandmother and every time I wear it, I feel as if I’m being hugged by her.

  • What an amazing keepsake. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Yes, that’s it exactly!

  • Such a beautiful ring. It’s great that it fits you! I have a couple from my grandmother, but her fingers were much smaller than mine. I’m still trying to come up with an idea for them. I suppose they could become a pendant on a necklace or something.

  • That’s beautiful and I’m reading your post a day after learning my grandmother is in the hospital again. And likely won’t be coming home … she’s moving to a nursing home after her hospital stay. This is the third time she’s fallen since summer, and she just cannot care for herself any longer.

    She has a drawer full of jewelry and makeup that she always told us granddaughters that we could have because we always loved to play with it growing up.

    Thanks for your post!

  • Oh I’m so sorry! It’s so hard to watch them age like that.

  • It didn’t fit me – had to have it sized up. It’s not very expensive to do and any jewelry store can do it for you.